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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 26 Mar 1969

Vol. 239 No. 7

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Directorship of Irish Company.


asked the Minister for Finance whether any conflict of interest exists between the new position of the managing director of Heinz and his retained directorships of the Irish Sugar Company and Erin Foods, in view of the fact that he has not been replaced at the head of those two companies by a home-based managing director.


asked the Minister for Finance whether he proposes to announce a replacement for Mr. A. J. F. O'Reilly, who will be relinquishing his managing directorship of Comhlucht Siúicre Éireann and Erin Foods at the beginning of May.

With your permission, a Cheann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions 50 and 51 together.

When the managing director of Comhlucht Siúicre Éireann Teoranta and Erin Foods Ltd. resigns on 1st May, 1969, he will continue as an ordinary part-time director of Comhlucht Siúicre Éireann but not of Erin Foods Ltd. It is considered that the experience gained as managing director over the past two and a half years will enable him to make a valuable contribution to the work of the Board of CSET. The company has no direct commercial relationship with Heinz and I am satisfied that his new appointment will not conflict in any way with his responsibilities as a director of CSET.

A new chief executive is being appointed in each company. These appointments are matters for the companies themselves, but I am informed that both appointees will be Irish.

Would the Minister not agree, especially in view of the recent comments by the former managing director of the company, that there is a great danger of control of this company falling into the hands of foreign combines and that something should be done to remedy this?

There is not the slightest danger.

Would he not agree that the suggestion of this at the present time and the fact that the effective control of this concern seems to evolve around a Mr. O'Reilly who is managing director of a foreign company which is based in Pittsburg——

The kindest thing I could say about the recent statement to which the Deputy refers is that it is not based on the facts. As I pointed out, the new chief executives will be appointed in May, one for Comhlucht Siúicre Éireann Teo. and one for Erin Foods. I have every confidence in the Board of both of these companies. There is no suggestion nor any danger that they might be taken over by foreign companies. Both companies will continue to be 100 per cent Irish concerns, managed and controlled by Irishmen and I am quite convinced they will continue to do an excellent job for the farmers of this country.

Is the Minister aware of the fact that there is grave public disquiet over this especially among the farmers?

There is no such thing. There is not a scintilla of public disquiet.

Can the Minister tell us how many days Mr. O'Reilly has worked here and how long he is in England and is it not a fact that he does not resign until April and meanwhile he is in the employ of the British company?

This does not arise on this question.

How many managerial appointments have been made by him since his resignation?

Question No. 52.

I should like to raise the subject matter of this question on the Adjournment.

The Chair will communicate with the Deputy.